A/N: Given the situation, Felicity's thoughts are even less linear than normal in this story, and there was a lot to cover in a small amount of time, so, if you like things that are clearly laid out, this might not be your cup of tea. However, I had a lot of fun with it, and I hope you will, too. Also, I have just one more flash fic to post, and then I'm caught up... just in time to begin again. So, look for that soon. Thanks and enjoy! ~Charlynn~
An Olicity Flash Fic One Shot
Flash Fic Prompt #25: A Case of Mistaken Identity
It tasted like she ate gym socks for breakfast. Theoretically. Not that she'd ever had gym socks for breakfast... or any other meal for that matter. But still...
Felicity groaned. "Ugh," she complained, distantly taking note of how scratchy and rough her voice sounded but too distracted by trying to do something, anything, to rid herself of the nastiness that was her teeth, and tongue, and lips in that moment. "Nuts, in my mouth? Never again."
A chuckle followed seconds later by a, "what? That was funny," brought Felicity out of her fantasies of toothbrushes, mouthwash, and floss.
Realizing that she wasn't alone – that someone – someones – had heard her; that people could see her – and, if her mouth tasted that bad, Felicity did not want to know what she looked like in that moment; and that at least one of those someones was a man? Well, that was apparently the only cue she needed to groan a second time, which only seemed to spur on further self-inflicted humiliation. "I didn't mean it like that. Or maybe I did?" In consideration, she screwed up her face in thought. Or, at least, Felicity believed she was screwing up her face, but, really, everything just felt... wonky. "Why is this happening to me right now?"
If her own voice sounded less than smooth, than the person – man – who answered her sounded like his throat was comprised of sandpaper. It was a much different voice than the first one she'd heard. "You know exactly why you're here."
Which, okay, was fair, because she did. But that wasn't what she meant... and, apparently, she felt the need to explain that as well. "I just... in front of my murse?"
"Your murse," gravel-tone repeated in question.
But Felicity bulldozed over him with all the finesse of the machine her mouth emulated. "It's taken my twenty-five years to get here. I've fantasized about this so many times, and, now, that it's happening, what do I do? I make some ridiculous crack about eating nuts but made it sound like a sex move. Well, I mean, it is a sex move... I guess? But it's not one of my mine. And now I've probably scared the murse away, and oh my god. Why. Can't. I. Stop. Talking?"
Again with the garbled glass. "A. Murse?"
Again with the groaning. "You know, a male nurse," Felicity supplied. And then she tried to slouch down further in her hospital bed, but she couldn't move. Huh. Weird. "And I'm not trying to objectify him." She also realized, in her discomfort, and her embarrassment, and the sheer nastiness that was the inside of her mouth, that she had failed to notice, up until that point, that she couldn't see either. That didn't stop her from continuing her explanation, but, the more Felicity talked, the faster her words came until the point where she was practically hyperventilating. "I just find a man who is comfortable enough with his masculinity to work in a predominately female occupation supremely attractive. And it's a good thing, too, because, apparently, I can't see, so it won't matter what the murse looks like. And I'm blind. Oh my god. I died, didn't I? I died, and it took you... them... too long to revive me, and I suffered brain damage, and now I'm blind."
She might have also started to cry which was... oddly reassuring, because at least she still had eyes, which was a ridiculous thought, because of course she did. A lack of oxygen didn't literally steal your eyes away from you. But she was blind, so forgive her if she wasn't feeling her most rational. Come to think of it...
"How did I even get here? Who brought me? Who called for help? Because the last time this happened, it only took seconds for my throat to start to close. And, for that matter, what did I eat? I'm very careful with my food – where I shop, how I cook, when I order from restaurants. The last thing I remember was being alone in my apartment. I think I was... watching TV? I wasn't even eating, but then how did I...?"
And then there was light! Painful, blinding light so bright it was straight out of an interrogation scene, which was insane, because she was most definitely...
"Oh my god."
Shock, it flooded her system.
First, Felicity had to note... even if mentally and only to herself, she wasn't blind. Rather, she had, evidently, just been blindfolded... which meant, okay, so not in a hospital.
Secondly, that little observation from minutes before about not being able to move? Yeah, that was because she had been tied to a metal chair. Still was, in fact. There was also a light so intense she could feel the heat it was giving off swinging just slightly above her, its swaying illumination making her feel faintly nauseous. But nausea was nothing compared to the adrenaline and apprehension which spiked through her system when she noticed what... or who... or both?... was standing directly in front of her just outside of the light's halo.
Gasping – hey, at least that was an improvement over groaning, she breathed out, "that must have been some brownie."
That second... or, actually, it was the first but also the one less often used... and much calmer, dare she say even nicer, voice asked, "what the hell did you do to her, man?"
Felicity frowned. So, no murse then. Of all the things she should have been concerned with in this situation, that's where her mind went? She was so screwed.
"Nothing," yelled Trach-Boy. And then he turned back to glare at her. Maybe she couldn't actually see his face... what with the hood, and the shadows he seemed to favor, and the fact that the light still blazing down on top of her was eating away at her irises like acid, but Felicity just knew that The Hood wasn't a smily man. She had crazy astute instincts like that. "Your diversionary tactics aren't going to work with me."
Felicity would have looked over her shoulders to check and make sure that the warning hadn't been growled towards someone else, but, yeah, there was that whole can't move at all situation that she was currently dealing with. Finally, she settled for a rather inept, "who me?" And sue her if she also happened to blink up at him owlishly, too, while saying it.
Her question went ignored. "Look, this can go one of two ways," Grizzled and Grumpy told her. "You can either make this easier on yourself and tell me what I want to know, or I can get the answers I need from you... without your cooperation."
"Who's not cooperating," Felicity challenged. He took a menacing step towards her – the toes of his black boots just brushing into the circle of light. "I'm just trying to get my bearings." When he made a sound like a snarl coming from the back of his throat, she rushed to add, "look, I'm just... a little confused. I woke up feeling like I had the worst hangover ever. But red wine has never been this cruel to me before. Only once in my life have I ever felt like this, and it was after I accidentally ate a pot brownie in college. Well," Felicity amended, tilting her head to the side in contemplation. "I ate it on purpose. It's not like I sleep eat or anything. Thank god. Otherwise, I'd constantly be forced to buy a new wardrobe, and I might work for a billionaire, but his two least favorite words in the English language are 'profit sharing.' And you totally don't want – or need – to know this, so, yeah, moving on." Taking a deep, fortifying breath, Felicity got back on track. "Anyway, the accidental part came from not knowing that there was pot or nuts – of which I'm severely allergic to – in the brownie. Given that I feel like death warmed over, I just assumed it had happened again. My hypothesis was only proven further likely when I saw you, because, in all the ways I imagined the vigilante tying me up, it was always under very different circumstances. Platonic circumstances, of course."
And then, finally, she winced.
That wince was followed shortly thereafter by a deep guffaw from whom she could only assume was the sidekick... since she still couldn't put a face (or a hood) to the second, even more shadow-y man. "This is your criminal mastermind," non-voice modulated guy mocked his hooded comrade.
"She's not as innocent... or as blonde... as she'd like you to think."
"Hey," Felicity protested. But, really, it was an empty exclamation, because it wasn't exactly an insult. Not really. It just... didn't work in her favor.
But Groucho-Marksman just continued on undaunted. "She dyes it."
If Felicity wasn't mistaken, she could have sworn that she heard a smirk in The Hood's voice, but that was just preposterous, because hello! He was a kidnapper, he had tied her up and... done something to her that made her brain feel like angora (it's so fuzzy!) and her mouth taste like she had eaten cotton balls drenched in nail polish remover, and she was almost positive that Stockholm Syndrome couldn't kick in this quickly. Because even considering that The Hood had a sense of humor was way too close to feeling anything more for him than just revulsion and fear.
Needing distance, needing deniability... from whatever it was she was being accused of, Felicity fought back with a, "no, I don't," which, granted, was a little second grade of her, but kidnapped!
"She's also, apparently, a liar," the vigilante accused before holding up a picture of her from her early college days and then flicking it in her direction. The action reeked of disgust.
How in the world...? "I don't... But..." Felicity didn't understand what was happening, how he had gotten that picture of her, or why she was there. What came out of her mouth next, though, wasn't a question. Instead, it was almost a whimper. As she squirmed in her chair, trying to loosen the ties around her wrists and ankles, she miserably admitted, "I can't feel my hands."
"Well, maybe that'll stop you from being a hacker," The Hood replied without any remorse or sympathy.
Reflexively, she snapped, "I prefer hactavist."
"What," sidekick asked from the gloom that was the darkness outside of her circle of light.
But she ignored him, focusing upon the man so obviously in charge. "Is that why I'm here? Is that why you're... doing this to me, because I swear; I don't hurt anyone. And, even if I did, I'd be more likely to hurt the same kind of people you go after – the rich and the corrupt – than I would the innocent."
"What about that virus you created when at MIT?"
Felicity gaped at him. She couldn't help it. First, there was the picture he had of her, and now this? "How do you...?"
"You thought you covered your tracks, didn't you? You got that idiot Cooper to take the blame, got him sent to prison, killed."
"It wasn't like that," Felicity screamed in self-defense. Unbidden, she felt the tears that always threatened when she thought about that time in her life sting her eyes. "I created that virus just to see if I could. I never wanted it to be used... at least, not like that. But Coop, he just... I don't know. He got swept up in the moment, and then the FBI was just there, and he took the blame for what happened. I tried to stop him. I tried to reason with him. But he wouldn't listen to me." At this point, Felicity was outright crying. "I've been careful ever since, though – making sure that I never create anything like that again. I promise!"
"No, now you just hurt people with your bare hands, with a bow and arrows," the vigilante lashed out. At the same time, he lunged forward – his body coming fully into the light and crowding her with his sudden proximity. If possible, the threat of him looming over her, above her, around her made Felicity shrink that much further into the harsh, unforgiving metal of her chair.
She hated to feel weak, however; she hated to feel cowed in any way. So, she started to fight back. "How do you even know about that? Those records were sealed!"
"Please," The Hood scoffed. "I might not have gone to MIT, but it doesn't take much to access Merlyn Global's employment records. Everything I needed to know about you in order to understand why you're trying to stop me was right there in black and white."
"Stop you," Felicity yelled in frustration, in confusion, in absolute horror. If she could have, she would have run her hands through her hair, hoping that the momentary distraction of her fingers getting caught in the tangles would help her to get a better grasp upon the ludicrous situation. "I don't even know who you are!"
"Just like you didn't know any of those people you kidnapped at Christmas-time either, using them – threatening their lives – in order to draw me out and try to kill me."
Kidnapping? Christmas? Going after The Hood? Felicity quickly ran the information just revealed over in her mind, trying to pinpoint just what exactly the vigilante was talking about. Living in a place like Starling meant that she tried to avoid the news. It wasn't that she liked being ignorant of what was going on around her; she just wanted to be able to sleep at night. Despite this, not even she had been able to avoid rumblings of a second archer stalking the streets or, more accurately, stalking the man who pseudo-policed the streets. And earlier The Hood had accused her of picking up a bow and arrows...
"The Dark Archer," she murmured softly, realization dawning.
The Hood stepped back from her, away from her. He folded his arms over his chest. "So, you're admitting it, then?"
"That you are The Dark Archer?"
Instinctively, Felicity laughed. "Me?" She was greeted with silence in response, and Felicity had never dealt well with silence. Rushing forward to fill it – both with sound and her argument against such an absurd idea, she said, "look, I'm flattered that you find me so... capable, but my idea of a workout is stretching to reach the top shelf of the cupboard instead of getting the step-stool. I barely make it through a day of just walking without somehow running into something. I hate pointy things. Even the idea of getting a shot or having my blood drawn makes me woozy. Even if I was inclined to carry a weapon, a bow and arrows?" And then she rolled her eyes, snorting scornfully. "Please? Archery is a ridiculous hobby, let alone the way I'd try to take over the world. You know, if I were so inclined." Picking up what she had just put down (in words), Felicity cringed. "No offense," she offered lamely, though it was probably too late for that little amendment of politeness.
"So, what about your order from Sagittarius for two hundred custom, black arrows?"
"What order?" And if this was all it took for The Hood to accuse someone of really bad things? Well, he needed a new sidekick. Speaking of which, Rational and Well Hidden had been noticeably quiet and unhelpful for far too long. "I never bought any arrows."
"Yes, you did."
"No, I didn't," she fired back. If there was a note of bratty exasperation to her tone, it was well earned.
"Yes, you did."
Was this guy for real? Seriously? That's how he was going to win this argument with her? Sure, he had her tied up, and no one knew where she was, so, yes, technically, he had the advantage, but his debate skills left much to be desired. "Two hundred custom black arrows," Felicity questioned rhetorically. "First of all, black is so not my color. Actually," she self-corrected. "Black absorbs light, which means it is the absence of all color, but we really don't need a science lesson at the moment. Maybe later?" Regathering her focus, Felicity shifted topics. "I don't even want to imagine how much that order would cost. I might work for Merlyn Global, and you might be treating me like one of your 1% targets, but, between my student loans, my lease payment for my car, rent, food, utilities, and the occasional splurge from Amazon, I'm broke. Plus, the only Sagittarius I know of is the zodiac sign... which, for the record, isn't even mine. Oh," and she added, thinking of something else. "It's also Mr. Merlyn's password." And she would know. Because that's what Felicity did at Merlyn Global – she worked IT for the multi-billion dollar company, primarily focusing on computer security for all of the muckety-mucks.
"Jesus Christ, man" Sidekick swore as he finally stepped into the light. Once he did, Felicity gaped, because she knew him. "You've been set up. You both have."
Seconds later, her wrists were unbound, and Felicity was pulling them forward to rub her numb fingers together in the hopes of restoring circulation. But she never took her eyes off the men in front of her. Like watching a ping-pong ball, she stared in amazement at the dress-down that took place.
"Merlyn set you up. He's behind all of this. I don't know why, I don't know what he's ultimately up to, but he makes a hell of a lot more sense as The Dark Archer than some random nerd who talks too much." She wasn't even offended by that. It was too true... and she knew him! "He planted that evidence of her backstory in her HR files for you to find, and, as her employer, he would have all the information he would need in order to use her identity to purchase the very same arrows you traced back to her. And let's not forget all the time he's been spending with your mother..."
"Not another word," The Hood snapped.
Only Felicity didn't need to think of him as 'The Hood' anymore, because she knew exactly who the vigilante was now, too. His Sidekick's identity gave him away. "I know who you are," she breathed out, flabbergasted. "Mr. Queen."
And then he turned to her, shoulders falling. Sighing. "No, Mr. Queen was my father."
"Right," Felicity agreed, nodded. And then she frowned. "But he's dead." She shook her head to clear that thought away. "I mean he drowned." Because that thought was so much better. "But you didn't." Okay, so an obvious observation but, still, an improvement. "Which means that you... could kidnap me?"
Another long, weary sigh was accompanied by Oliver removing his hood. "Yeah," he acknowledged, bending down to untie her ankles. "Sorry about that."
The apology wasn't much, but the emotion behind it was at least sincere. And, hey, it got him on his knees in front of her, so not a wash entirely, right? A guffaw from Mr. Diggle – Oliver's extremely recognizable driver, especially since Oliver was her boss' son's best friend and was not a stranger around Merlyn Global's office building – alerted Felicity to the fact that she may have said that last part out loud. Although Oliver didn't laugh as well, when he looked back up at her after completing his task, there was humor in his camouflaged eyes. "FYI, I tend to babble and say inappropriate things when I'm nervous."
With an entirely too straight face, he replied, "I hadn't noticed." He stood up then, turning his back towards her as he walked away. "We'll work on that."
Felicity stood to follow only to stumble at his words. Because, um, what?
"Welcome to the team, Miss Smoak," John Diggle offered before following after his boss.
Collapsing back onto her chair, Felicity found herself too stunned to respond... and suddenly feeling nostalgic for the days when all she had to worry about was anaphylactic shock.
Nuts: food or... otherwise, all they did was get her into trouble.